Hunter Valley – Stories that matter

Az Cosgrove from Heddon Greta in the Hunter Valley and Megan McLoughlin from Stone Well in South Australia, have been named as the 2023 ABC Regional Storyteller Scholars.
Az said his win showed the cultural lie behind the belief that people with disability have no future. “It means that I can still have dreams and goals and that I can still participate in cultural life. It means the stories I have to tell matter.”
The scholarship, in partnership with the Department of Social Services, promotes emerging content makers with disability who live in regional Australia. The winners are currently working with various ABC teams to develop their skills, produce content and gain valuable employment experience. The program is designed to help them to challenge perceptions they face within the broader community, and to break down unnecessary barriers.
“By amplifying the stories and perspectives of people with disability, we are helping to create a more diverse and inclusive society, ” said Amanda Rishworth, Minister for Social Services.
Megan said her win gave her a chance to “be part of change” rather than sitting back and waiting for change to happen. “I get to be shown the skills to implement this change for the one in five Australians living with disability.
“For the first time in a long time, it makes me proud to be legally blind.”
Az loves his scholarship experience. “I am working on a project highlighting the queer and disabled experience of the inaccessibility embedded in our social structure. Being able to witness and actually be a part of the media production at the ABC has been awe inspiring to say the least.
“It has been particularly meaningful to me as my personal life has been very tumultuous lately, and having a space where my voice and stories are valued has been invaluable.”